We had lived up this past summer. I especially wanted to make the most of each day together, knowing these days weren't forever, and I kept tucking away little moments in my heart. We excitedly counted down the days to September 1st (with alphabet cookies and everything), when Ellie would get to start her first official day of "real" school.
We searched high and low for the perfect little backpack (yay for Skip-Hop!). We hit up Carter's for the first day of school outfit. I even got a new lunchbox for E, even though she wouldn't be needing it at school just yet. (Can you tell I love this whole school thing??)
We got a postcard from her teacher, and she eagerly wrote a letter back.
|Sounding out each letter as she writes.|
We got "first day of school" books from the library, and read her favorite Berenstain Bears one again, too ("The Berenstain Bears Go to School").
I printed out the classic sign for her to hold for pictures, and got her morning routine all ready so she could practice a few times before the big day.
Then last night arrived--we laid out her clothes, made sure her backpack was ready, and went to bed.
When my alarm went off this morning, I smiled thinking, "It's really here... Ellie's first day of school." I got myself ready before she was up, and David whipped up the pancake batter. I had some playdough on the table for her to play with when she got up, and spelled out a special note for me "I LUV YOU." :)
She was so surprised when we started singing "Happy 1st Day of School to You," and brought out the special red plate with a candle for her to make a wish. (She wished we could go to Sky High again--since we'd just closed out our summer break with it yesterday.)
I couldn't resist making "Pre K" pancakes, since my mom got me this fun pancake pen a while back that's been just too fun. And I really wanted to make this day special for her. I love family traditions, and I always loooved back to school as a kid (just ask my mom), so this mama has seriously been beyond excited for this big event.
Ellie asked a few times how many more minutes it was till school, so we didn't need to ask twice when it was time for her to put on her shoes and get her backpack. As David helped her into her backpack, it just became that much more real. Kind of like when you first find out you're pregnant, but it doesn't really hit you until you see that little gummy bear in the ultrasound and hear their little heartbeat??
So as we handed her the sign and I saw her beaming at me through the camera's viewfinder, my heart just melted. It was happening. Her first day of school was here. And I couldn't be more proud.
|Walking to school from our house.|
|We cracked up that she even drew a little picture of herself above her name. (Right above the second L)|
The first thing the students do is get a book from the bookshelf and sit on the rug to look at it quietly. She asked me where the books were, so I walked her over, helped her pick out an I Spy book, and then she was good to go. :)
David and I walked back to the house together (we're just 3 minutes away--love it!), and it felt so weird being in there without Ellie. After I kissed him goodbye and he left for work, I sat down on the couch and thought... now what? It feels so strange not having my chatty little buddy at home with me, asking constantly, "Mommy, would you like to play with me?"
I'm looking forward to the days I'll have where I'm not teaching classes where I'll get to just run errands quickly or get some house cleaning done, or work on Little Sign of Mine stuff, or exercise. But it's definitely going to take time to adjust! I always thought I'd have some one-on-one time with our next little one while Ellie was at school, so there's a sad emptiness there... But I'm grateful for each season God is giving us, and I'm ready to go make the most of it.
I love that Ellie's class will be practicing the alphabet in sing language--that was how I first came across my love for signing (in Kindergarten)! I absolutely love how signing helps little ones learn and remember so many things.
So I'm excited to share that Signing Time is giving away a FREE episode!!!! No loopholes or gimmicks, it's just yours!! "Welcome to School" is Volume 13 from their first Signing Time series, and you can get it for free by entering your name and email here: http://www.signingtime.com/free-video/
One of the best things about this video is it has the ABCs at the end after the credits (which is how Ellie learned her ABCs before she was two!). And even while Ellie was still one, we used a ton of signs from this video--like CRAYONS, PAPER, CHAIR, TABLE, NAME, PAY ATTENTION (when I would say, "Look at mama's eyes"), QUIET, READ, REST, PAINT, DRAW, and so many more! Plus I love the song, "Hello Backpack." :)
Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we have!!